This post hereby serves as an update on the gazetting process for the Gas Pipeline and Electricity Grid Infrastructure (EGI) Expansion Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). As noted in March 2020, the Final SEA Reports were published electronically on the project website at the following link: https://gasnetwork.csir.co.za/final-sea-reports/, which served as the project closure.
The last phase of the SEA processes is the Decision-Support Outputs and Gazetting Process, which is currently underway. The gazetting process is being handled by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). This phase translates the outputs from the environmental assessment phase into environmental management measures and planning interventions for inclusion in the relevant legal environmental framework and local government planning tools, to ensure that long term energy planning is secured. The Decision-Support Outputs compiled for the Gas Pipeline and EGI Expansion SEA are stipulated below:
|Gas Pipeline SEA||EGI Expansion SEA|
The following gazettes have been released by the DEFF for comment:
- Government Gazette 43571, Government Notice 834, Date: 31 July 2020 – Consultation on the intention to publish as an environmental management instrument in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998), a draft Generic Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) for Gas Transmission Pipeline Infrastructure (2020) relevant to an application for environmental authorisation for gas transmission pipeline infrastructure;
- Government Gazette 43571, Government Notice 835, Date: 31 July 2020 – Consultation on the intention to adopt a standard for the development of electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure within identified geographical areas and the exclusion of this infrastructure from the requirement to obtain an environmental authorisation;
- Government Gazette 43571, Government Notice 836, Date: 31 July 2020 – Consultation on the intention to identify, in terms of sections 24(5)(a) and (b) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) and regulation 15(2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014, as amended, procedures to be followed when applying for or deciding on an environmental authorisation for the development or expansion of underground gas transmission pipeline infrastructure when occurring in Strategic Gas Pipeline Corridors published in the Government Gazette.
Members of the public are invited to submit written comments or input directly to the DEFF, within 30 days after the publication of the above notices in the Government Gazette (i.e. within 30 days after 31 July 2020). Details of the process regarding comment submission can be found in the abovementioned Government Gazette. A copy of the Government Gazette has been placed on the homepage of the project website: https://gasnetwork.csir.co.za/
Stakeholders are encouraged to follow the publications in the Government Gazette, as well as the DEFF website, for further details on the gazetting process.
The Gas Pipeline and EGI Expansion SEA Team would like to thank all stakeholders for their participation in this process.